Most of the money used to build the new hall and refurbish the old came from the sale of land owned by the Diocese of Southwark. Some kind individuals also donated funds so that we could transform the garden and install our stunning stained glass window, but without Elsie Horrell things would have been much more difficult. On her death, in the year 2000, Elsie left our church £150,000 in her will, and at a stroke completely transformed St Barnabas’ finances.
For the first time in decades there was a financial cushion, which gave a modicum of security and hope. Repairs and development were both now thinkable! As we set about tackling the re-lighting, re-wiring, roof repairs and interior decoration during next year, it is worth noting that the money still available to begin that work is almost exactly the equivalent of Elsie’s kind legacy, plus interest, given all those years ago!
Elsie was born in 1904 and began attending St Barnabas when she was a child, within just a few years of it being opened, and attended up right until 1998. Never a wealthy woman, she led a simple life, anchored by a deep faith, and centred on her husband and close circle of friends and family. As we try to build a stronger church community and witness to the Gospel here, the example of people such as Elsie, are to be cherished. Like Denys Jones, who died more recently, Elsie was one of the people who has given St Barnabas its distinctive character.